The Max-Planck-Institute (MPI) for Microstructure Physics, the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials Halle (IWMH), and the Martin-Luther-University (MLU) of Halle-Wittenberg are part of the “Weinberg Campus” in Halle (http://www.weinbergcampus.de/) which is an important science and technology park of Saxony-Anhalt. The close neighborhood of these three institutes forms excellent conditions for scientific collaborations which led in the past to many joint research activities on the field of materials science and particularly on nano-structured materials. The collaboration between a fundamental research oriented MPI, an application oriented Fraunhofer Institute and a university is probably unique in Germany.
The research initiative SiLi-nano® (Silicon and light: from macro to nano) within the programme “Centre of for Innovation Competence – Foster Talent” from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is one of the most recent joint activities of these three institutes. The research focus of SiLi-nano® is on integrated silicon photonics, sensors, and photovoltaics. SiLi-nano® is an essential partner in the fast growing network on silicon photonics and photovoltaics at the Weinberg Campus. It forms the fundamental research backbone of already existing and rapidly growing photovoltaic industry in Saxony-Anhalt. A close collaboration with the recently granted research activity “SiThinSolar” within the programme “InnoProfile” from the BMBF and with the newly founded Fraunhofer-Center for Silicon Photovoltaics (CSP) in Halle is already established.